Archive for September, 2010

TOW #7

For this weeks topic of the week we were asked to discuss our last weeks use of Twitter.

Part of the assignment was to follow around 20 or so public relations people and our classmates in my PRCA 3330 class.  I was really excited to get to know a few more PR professionals from my hopefully future working field and to meet a few of my fellow classmates.  For some reason I was really excited to receive tweets and I noticed myself as the week went a long tweeting more and checking to see if anyone had left me any tweets in return.  I also noticed that the more tweets you left on other members profiles the more feedback you would receive.

This was my second time around using Twitter for a class.  After making my first twitter account in the summer I went ahead and made my own personal acount to connect with friends.  I have met a lot of people through twitter and it has helped me out a lot to build connections in the work industry and to strengthen my relationships with friends.

Since I am in class this time and I was not in the summer I felt like it was hard to remind myself to updae my twitter and to tweet on other people posts.  I also noticed that fewer of my classmates tweeted on my posts this time compared to the summer.  I am not sure if they experienced what I did with time issues or if my tweets were not of interest.  I also was hoping this time using twitter I would connect with more PR professionals but they were the same as the summer.

Although, I have started to use twitter a lot more I still prefer Facebook.  I have been told that twitter should be used more as a professional connection than Facebook, but so far I have noticed the opposite.  I have met a lot of professional and have made way more connections through Facebook than twitter.  Maybe once I graduate and start my career I will use twitter more than Facebook, but as of now I think I will stick to Facebook when connecting with friends and family.

Overall I enjoyed my second time of twitter way more than my first time.  I believe this to be because I knew how to use it a little better and it was easier to get started with already having an account. 

If you would like to follow me or check out my twitter account then click on this link:



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TOW #6

For this weeks topic of the week I will be discussing what makes a story newsworthy.

For me something that is newsworthy is a piece that is current and exciting.  It provides information that is important to the particular audience it is produced for and makes the readers want to return and read more from that particualr news source.

According to mediacollege.com  there are five ways to tell if a story is newsworthy:


The word news means exactly that – things which are new. Topics which are current are good news. Consumers are used to receiving the latest updates, and there is so much news about that old news is quickly discarded.A story with only average interest needs to be told quickly if it is to be told at all. If it happened today, it’s news. If the same thing happened last week, it’s no longer interesting.


The number of people affected by the story is important. A plane crash in which hundreds of people died is more significant than a crash killing a dozen.


Stories which happen near to us have more significance. The closer the story to home, the more newsworthy it is. For someone living in France, a major plane crash in the USA has a similar news value to a small plane crash near Paris.Note that proximity doesn’t have to mean geographical distance. Stories from countries with which we have a particular bond or similarity have the same effect. For example, Australians would be expected to relate more to a story from a distant Western nation than a story from a much closer Asian country.


Famous people get more coverage just because they are famous. If you break your arm it won’t make the news, but if the Queen of England breaks her arm it’s big news.

Human Interest

Human interest stories are a bit of a special case. They often disregard the main rules of newsworthiness; for example, they don’t date as quickly, they need not affect a large number of people, and it may not matter where in the world the story takes place.Human interest stories appeal to emotion. They aim to evoke responses such as amusement or sadness. Television news programs often place a humorous or quirky story at the end of the show to finish on a feel-good note. Newspapers often have a dedicated area for offbeat or interesting items.

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TOW #5

For this weeks topic of the week I will be discussing the best ways to avoid plagarism in writing.  According to Buzzle.com Plagiarism is defined as taking in part or in whole someone else’s words, writing, research, ideas, artwork, music or other creative efforts and passing it off as one’s own without giving due credit to the originator.

Some tips on how to avoid plagarism are:

Paraphrase – Never use someone else’s words – substituting synonyms is also a no-no. Don’t use their sentence structure either. Write everything in your own words as you understand it. The best way to do this is to go through the required reading material and then put it all away when you start writing. Refer to it only after you are done to check if you have got all the facts right.

Quotation Marks – If you need to use what someone else has written or said in your writing, write their exact words and put them in quotation marks. If you are omitting certain sections, put ‘……’ in between words to indicate this. If you are incorporating a word or words so that the sentence makes reading sense, put those words in square brackets ‘[like this]’.

Cite Sources – You can either write ‘According to Professor so-and-so….’ or ‘Professor so-and-so states that….’ or you can provide links to websites you have referred to or you can list the sources after your article or do all of the above. rather than making your paper look less intellectually sophisticated, using citations allows you to show off your understanding of the material and the assignment. And instead of showing what you don’t know, citing your sources provides evidence of what you do know and of the authority behind your knowledge. Just make sure that your paper has a point, main idea, or thesis that is your own and that you organize the source material around that point.

Manage your time – If you have to meet a deadline, start work early. So you have plenty of time to research and write. Lack of time is one reason many people – especially stressed-out students – intentionally or unintentionally plagiarize.

Check for Plagiarism:
There are several online tools to check for plagiarism.

According to the North Carolina University writing department

Citing your sources appropriately is a matter of:

  1. determining which style your instructor wants you to use,
  2. finding the appropriate style manual, and
  3. copying the “formula” it gives for each type of source you use.

First, carefully read the assignment to determine what citation style your instructor wants you to use (APA, MLA, Chicago, and CSE are the most common). If s/he doesn’t specify a citation style in the assignment, check your syllabus, coursepack, and/or Blackboard site. If you can’t find the citation style in any of those places, ask your instructor what style s/he prefers.

Second, academic citation styles follow specific formats, so making an educated guess about how to structure your citations and works cited page is usually not a good idea. Instead, find the specified style manual in the reference section of the library, on the reference shelf in the Writing Center, or online.

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TOW #4

For this week’s topic of the week professor Nixon had us complete and online assignment/work-shop called NewsU Cleaning your copy.  Before going starting the workshop I had always been told that I was a great writer and had excellent grammar and punctuation skills.  After taking the course I started to wonder if the people who told me those things were smoking something because I did not do so well.

One thing I really liked about the course is that there is a feature that allows you to take a pre-test to determine my strengths and weaknesses in specific areas.  After the pre-test I found out that I do very well in grammar and spelling, but not so well in Ap style or punctuation. 

As I just stated above the four main topics discussed were grammar, Ap style, punctuation, and spelling.  I believe this course would be good for anyone especially those in  the professional fields that have to write a lot.  Even if you believe that you may be a very good writer and do not make mistakes, you could still use the course to freshen up on a few areas.

One thing I did not like about the course was how long it was.  I felt like some of the stuff we learned and that was discussed was very tedious and repetitive.  The only reason I would not come back to the site and take another course would be because of how time-consuming it was.  Although, after realizing how much more work I need in certain areas I will definitely come back to the site and take a few more refresher courses.

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I am very new to Twitter and have not exactly got the whole grasp on how to work it.  This past summer I took intro to Public Relations and I was hoping it would change my opinon on using Twitter over Facebook, but after round one I was not so lucky.  Twitter to me is very confusing and I am not so sure of the whole concept what you are supposed to do.  Hopefully after this semester I will become a much better Tweeter 🙂

So since I am not an avid Twitter user and someone new to the whole process I thought it would be good to discuss the Top ten reasons people fail at Twitter from Ad Mavericks.

1. You don’t have a strategy.
-many individuals show no real reason for being on twitter so, give a reason behind your tweeting.

2. Your message doesn’t match the medium.
-technology services are great, but just because you can post on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter at the same time doesn’t mean you should. People on Twitter seek knowledge. People on Facebook know you personally or love your brand. People on LinkedIn want business related content.

3. You tweet quotes all day.
 If you have to quote someone, add your own take as to why you’re quoting that person and how it impacts you or me today.

4. You tweet too far off topic, too often.
If you tweet about Oreo cookies or other minutia too much, people will unfollow you.

5. Automated tweet responses
“Thanks for the follow – check out my newsletter (LINK).” That person who took a personal interest in you got an impersonal response. You treatedthem like a number. Would you treat a customer that walked into your store or called you that way? Show them there is a human behind the Twitter handle.

6. Poor following strategy.
You follow anyone with a pulse. You follow people merely by location. Dig deeper. Seek out the people who are talking about your brand or your industry. Find the influencers. Engage with these people when you follow them. Send an authentic message directly to someone who follows you.

7. Scheduled tweets.
 If you have to schedule tweets, the only good excuses are because something happens at a specific time or you’re in a meeting and you have to spread out your content. If you must schedule tweets, you must be readily available to respond to any engagement you generated.

8. Failure to engage.
We ask you questions. You ignore us. You ask us questions. We reply. You ignore us.

9. Failure to share.
Sharing builds your credibility. Do it. It’s not negotiable.

10. Twitter is not a fax machine.
Don’t be the person who publishes tweets as if they are fax blasting in the 80′s. You’re ruining it for everyone else. Social media is a give-and-take relation

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Just recently I read an article from the NewYork Times called Tired of reality tv, but still tuning in?

I have never considered myself to be much of a reality tv junkie but this summer when there was nothing on in the summer I seemed to tune into as much reality television as possible.  Ratings have shown that television viewers said they were growing tired of reality shows, with 40 percent calling reality the most overdone genre of programming.  Although, many are saying they do not enjoy watching  Reality shows they again dominated ratings this summer, especially among viewers whom the majority of networks consider most valuable, those 18 to 49. On broadcast television, 15 of the top 20 highest-rated programs among that younger adult group were reality or unscripted shows.

The biggest hit of the summer by far was MTV’s Jersey Shore which had 4.4 million viewers ages 18 to 49, more than anything else on television.

I have only watched Jersey Shore a few times and when I have I believed to be a little boring and outrageous.  Times are changing though and what our youth are more interested in is alcohol and sex and so that is why I believe this show is so popular. 

A number of the biggest network hits of the past decade, including “Survivor” on CBS, “Dancing With the Stars” on ABC and “American Idol” on Fox, all began as summer unscripted series.

But in recent years the networks have been content to rely on what have become their summer staples, like “Big Brother” and “America’s Got Talent.” They have not been seeking to introduce new reality shows that might emerge as hits transferable to the regular season.

There are some reality series that networks tend to steer clear of for the most part, is what is called the docu-soap, an hour of larger-than-life characters interacting and reacting in provocative ways. That loosely describes cable hits like “Jersey Shore” and “Teen Mom” on MTV, and all the permutations of “The Real Housewives” on Bravo.

Reality television may be looked down upon by some, but bottom line it is popular and people are continuously watching it.

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TOW #3

Comments and commenting on blogs are a very important and integral part of blogging.  For instance, blog comments add a sense of community and life to a blog.  Users who post blogs are able to receive input and opinions from other readers about their posts and they are able to give their own opinions about other blog topics as well.

Although, there have been many times in my blogging experience where people have left nasty or unimportant comments that have nothing to do with what I have posted and those who use blogs for these reasons should not waist the time of others who are blogging about important and serious topics.  I have had a few friends in the past who have been emotionally affected by blog comments in a bad way because someone said hurtful and untrue things on their blogs to the public.  So, in my opinion if you choose to comment on other peoples blogs make sure they pertain to the topic presented and that they are not judgmental in an inappropriate or hurtful way. Posting on blogs can also allow you to become more interactive with people and possibly build better connections with other bloggers. 

When writing blog comments be truthful and try not to say derogatory things.  Make sure everything is spelled correctly and there are no grammar mistakes.  If you make a claim in your blog comments make sure to include facts with links to back up the claim. Comments are a very important part of the whole blogging process so if you are going to leave a comment make sure it is important enough that the person who posted on the blog will want to read the comment and possibly be interested enough to visit your page and leave comments on your blog posts as well.   Most importantly, have fun when leaving comments and do not be too opinionated.

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